Types of Fnancial Aid

  1.  SCHOLARSHIPS—GIFT AID—aid based on GPA of 4.0 (93-100) and outstanding
    ACT or SAT scores, as the word SCHOLAR denotes; many are also need based.
  2. GRANTS—aid that does not have to be repaid, often from your state, for qualified students
  3. LOANS - with low interest for educational purposes that must be repaid, but generally not until after you have graduated or left school
  4. FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS) -- may be a job on campus or off campus for a government or non-profit agency
  5. FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANTS (FSEOG)—campus-based programs administered by the financial aid office at participating schools; awards may range between $100 and $4,000 a year


  • The Promise is a full tuition scholarship to a state college or university in West Virginia or an equivalent dollar scholarship to an in-state private college. The Promise is not need based, but students must complete the FAFSA.
  • For the 2007-2008 school year, to be eligible for the Promise Scholarship, a student must graduate with a minimum cumulative 3.0 (a “B” average) in both the core courses and in his/her overall grade point average. Also, all eligible students must obtain a score of at least 20 in all subject areas and a composite score of 22 on the ACT test or a combined score of 1020 on the SAT with at least a score of 490 on the verbal and 480 on the math.
  • Students may apply online at www.wvapply.com or by obtaining a copy of the application from their high school counselor. It is preferred that the application be completed online. The deadline for submitting the application is January 31. Students should apply for the West Virginia Grant (need-based money) on the same application.
  • Students are encouraged to take the ACT and/or SAT in the spring of their junior year and in early fall of their senior year. They must take the ACT no later than December of the senior year and/or the SAT no later than January of the senior year to be eligible for the Promise Scholarship.
  • Students will be notified in April of their status.
  • For more information, contact the high school guidance counselor, the Promise Scholarship Program at 1018 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Suite 700, Charleston, WV 25301, (304)558-4417, 1-877-Promise, or on the internet at www.promisescholarships.org

Federal Pell Grants

  • Direct Federal grants to undergraduate students
  • Non-repayable awards
  • Available to eligible students attending approved post-secondary educational institutions
  • Awards to full time students for the 2003-2004 academic year will range from $400 to $3,000; a maximum of $1,500 per semester.

West Virginia Higher Education Grant

  • For qualified West Virginia undergraduate students who require financial assistance to attend approved institutions in WV (Also in Pennsylvania if their intended programs of study are not available in WV colleges/universities)
  • Amount fluctuates according to college choice.
  • 2003-2004 maximum grants--from $350 to $2,532 at public, state-supported institutions
  • Maximum awards at in-state private educational institutions are $2,718.
  • Awards for out-of-state colleges and universities are limited to $600.
  • Award cannot exceed tuition and fee charges at institutions selected by recipients nor can it exceed demonstrated financial need.
  • Students must complete both the Common Application for State Level Financial Aid (www.wvapply.com) and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students may submit an application obtained from the high school counselor or apply online. Students should mark two boxes (WV Grant and Promise) to apply for both programs on the Common Application either on paper or online. Online is recommended.
  • The FAFSA must be received by the Federal Student Aid Programs on or before March 1.
  • Notification of awards in April
  • For more information contact the high school guidance counselor, the Office of Financial Aid and Outreach Programs, WV Higher Education Policy Commission, 1018 Kanawha Blvd., Suite 700, Charleston, WV 25301, telephone (304)558-4614, 888-825-5707 or www.hepc.wvnet.edu/students.

Federal College Work-Study Program

  • The Federal College Work-Study Program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The institutional aid office may assign recipients to employment on campus or with non-profit public and private agencies.
  • Eligibility for work-study assistance and the amount each student may earn under this program is determined by the aid officer.
  • A participant will be paid at least the current Federal minimum wage.

Federal Perkins Loan Program

  • Five percent loans for educational expenses
  • Students who qualify may borrow $3,000 for each year of undergraduate study.
  • The financial aid officer is responsible for determining which students demonstrate need and the amount of the loan.
  • Repayment begins nine months after leaving college and may extend over a ten-year period–5 % interest rate.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

  • Eligible students may qualify for up to $4,000 per year in non-repayable grant assistance.
  • Awards must be directed toward students who demonstrate exceptional financial need.
  • Recipients are determined by the institutional financial aid officer.

Federal Family Education Loan/Federal Direct Student Loan Programs

  • In West Virginia, the Federal Family Education Loan Program is administered by the West Virginia Education Loan Services, Incorporated.
  • The Federal Direct Student Loan Program is administered by the college/university the student attends. These loans include the STAFFORD Student and the PLUS Parent loans.
  • Maximum loan for a dependent undergraduate is $2,625 for entering freshmen, $3,500 for sophomores, and $5,500 for juniors and seniors.
  • Total FFEL/FDSL debt a borrower can have outstanding as a dependent undergraduate is $23,000.
  • Students filing for the loan through their college/university must submit the FAFSA.
  • Students applying for the loan through lending agency complete the FAFSA+ the FFELP.

HOPE Tax Credit www.ed.gov/studentaid

  • For students in the first two years of eligible post-secondary training, taxpayers will be eligible for a tax credit equal to 100% of the first $1,000 of tuition and 50% of the second $1,000 (the amounts are indexed for inflation after 2001).
  • Credit will be available on a per-student basis for net tuition (less grant aid) paid for college enrollment after December 31, 1997.
  • Credit is phased out for joint filers between $80,000 and $100,000 of income, and for single filers between $40,000 and $50,000 (indexed after 2001).
  • Credit can be claimed in two taxable years (but not beyond the year when the student. completes the first two years of college) for any individual enrolled on at least a half-time basis for any portion of the year.

Lifetime Learning Credit

  • For those beyond the first two years of college or taking classes part-time to improve or upgrade their job skills, the family will receive a 20% tax credit for first $5,000 of tuition and fees through 2002, and for the first $10,000 thereafter.
  • Credit is available for net tuition and fees (less grant aid) paid for post-secondary enrollment after June 30, 1998.
  • The credit is available on a family basis and is phased out at the same income levels as the HOPE Scholarship.
  • Credit cannot be taken for both the HOPE Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Credit in the same year for the same student.

Education Savings Accounts

  • Families may deposit $500 per year into an Education IRA.
  • Earnings accumulate tax-free and no taxes will be due upon withdrawal for net post-secondary expenses for tuition, fees, books, equipment, and room and board.
  • The Education IRA is phased out for families with incomes between $150,00 and $160,000 and for single filers between $95,000 and $110,000.
  • A taxpayer who uses tax-free distributions from an Education IRA may not, in the same year, benefit from the HOPE Scholarship or Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • West Virginia now has a Prepaid College Tuition Program although this program is currently on hold.

Student Loan Interest Deduction

  • Above-the-line deduction (the taxpayer does not need to itemize in order to benefit) for interest paid in the first 60 months of repayment on private or government-backed loans, post-secondary education and training expenses.
  • Maximum deduction is $1,500 in 1999, $2,000 in 2000, and $2,500 in 2001 and beyond .
  • Phased out for joint filers with incomes between $60,000 and $75,000 and to single filers with incomes between $40,000 and $55,000 (indexed after 2002).

Prepaid College Plan

How would the Plan work?
The Plan would offer prepaid tuition contracts that promise to pay for college tuition at a future date.
Who would be eligible?
Any person, corporation or other entity would be allowed to purchase a prepaid tuition contract in the name of a child who would receive the benefits. To be eligible to be named as the beneficiary, the child must be in the ninth grade or younger and either the purchaser or beneficiary must be a state resident at the time of contract purchase.
Where could the benefits be used?
While full-tuition coverage would only be guaranteed at West Virginia’s public colleges and universities, Plan benefits could be transferred to West Virginia private colleges and also to out-of-state colleges; the benefits paid would equal the lesser of the school’s actual tuition and fees or the average benefit value that would apply if the benefits were used at a West Virginia public college.

For more information, contact Office of the State Treasurer 558-5000 or 1-800-422-7498.
This information is reprinted from New Ways for Families to Pay for College, A Discussion with U.S. Congressman (now Governor-Elect ) Bob Wise. - This Program has been suspended for the time being.

West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services
Aid for qualified students with disabilities; may make application through school counselor or personally. Local office–701 Mercer St., Princeton, WV 24740, 304-425-1256

Banks That Make Loans

First Community Bank, 1001 Mercer Street, Princeton, WV 24740, GSL Coordinator;

Beckley National Bank, Drawer G, Beckley, WV 25802-2806; Student Loan Office;

BB&T in Charleston--Local Office.

First Union Education Loan Services, First Union National Bank, Dept. NJ2210, 100 Fidelity Union Plaza, North Brunswick, NJ 08902-9884, Call 1-800-955-8805.;

SALLIE MAE, 1050 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington, DC 20007-3871, Call-1-888-888-3460; College Answer Service–800-891-4599. (Some banks only loan to customers.) For more information contact the WV Education Loan Services at (304) 345-7211, Toll Free 1-800-437-3692.

The Federal Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and Federal Consolidation Loans

For Parents--interest rate varies, not to exceed nine percent per annum; repayment begins within sixty days. Loans are made through the borrower’s local lending institutions. There is no limit to the amount of the loan, but the parent may not borrow more than the amount of the unmet need. Repayment of the principal can be deferred if the borrower is an independent student. Parents may have to undergo credit analysis. For application call FOCUS 1-800-456-1213 or Federal PLUS Loan Program-PHEAA at 1-800-692-7392. These Loan Programs collectively are called the FEDERAL FAMILY EDUCATION LOAN PROGRAMS (FFELP) and The Federal Direct Loan Program. For a fact sheet call the US Department of Education at 1-800-333-4646. For questions about Federal Family Education Loan Programs phone–800-EDUCAID–800-338-2243–www.educaid.com

EXCELL Accounts

These represent the future of student loans in the United States. Established in the Student Loan Reform Act of 1993, EXCELL accounts will provide students with direct loans through their schools. EXCELL accounts will combine with the National Service Trust, allowing students to have their debts reduced up to $5,000 per year of public service. EXCELL and the National Service Trust will be phased in over five years beginning with the 1994-95 academic years.

The Federal AmeriCorps

Young people, ages 18-24, serve their country and receive provision for education vouchers up to $4,725 per year of service for two years to use for higher education or job training; application, GPA, references, service to community; Deadline - Feb. 1; For information- Rachael Tompkins, West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service, 305 Stewart Hal , West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505, or call 1-800-942-2677 & press option 7 or write to Corporation for National Service, AmeriCorps NCCC, 9th Floor, 1201 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20525. Website: www.americorps.org. Also-Energy Express AmeriCorps Applications, WVU Extension Service, 411 Knapp Hall, PO Box 6031, Morgantown, WV 26506-6031, local Memorial Bldg., 425-3079, Princeton, WV 24740.

Every college and university administers its own scholarship, grant, loan and financial aid programs. Information may be obtained from the individual college financial aid office.